Dhobi Tree
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Dhobi Tree
ative Photo: Dinesh Valke
Common name: Dhobi Tree, flag bush, white flag, white lady, white rag plant, wild mussaenda • Bengali: নাগবল্লী Nagaballi • Hindi: बेदिना Bedina • Kannada: ಬೆಳ್ಳೋತಿ Belloti, ಬಿಲ್ಲೋಟ Billota, ಬೆಲ್ಲೊಟ್ಟೆ Bellotte • Konkani: सरवडी Sarvadi • Malayalam: വെള്ളില Vellila • Marathi: भूतकेश Bhutakesha, सरवड Sarvad • Sanskrit: श्रीवाटी Shrivati • Tamil: வெள்ளிமடந்தை Velli-matantai Source: Names of Plants in India
Botanical name: Mussaenda frondosa    Family: Rubiaceae (Coffee family)
Synonyms: Gardenia frondosa, Mussaenda sericea

Dhobi Tree is a shrub with broadly elliptic leaves, 7.5-13.7 long, 4.5-8 cm broad, tip shortly tapering. Base is rounded or tapering into the 2-2.5 cm long stalk. Stipules are twin, lanceshaped. Flowers are borne in flat-topped clusters in leaf axils or at branch ends. One sepal is modified into a creamy-yellow elliptic bract, pointed at tip, base tapering into a claw. Calyx teeth are linear, 1.5 cm long. Actual flowers are 3-4 cm long, golden yellow, tube slender, very hairy. Berries are obovoid, 1-1.3 cm long. Dhobi Tree is found in the Western Ghats. Flowering: April-November.

Identification credit: J.M. Garg, Dinesh Valke Photographed at Murudeshwara, Karnataka.

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